Celebrate, Motivate, Get Passionate

Three ideas for the new year.

1. Plan a Celebration

It is common at the turn of a new year to set “resolutions” for things you want to do, change, or achieve in your life.

The problem with new year’s resolutions is that, if they had been really important to you, you would have set them earlier without needing the new year as a prompt.

Achieving goals is more important than writing wish lists.

Instead of making a resolution, make a plan for a celebration you plan to have after your goal is achieved.

As Tom Peters has said, “celebrate what you want to see more of.”

2. Motivate Others

Zig Ziglar once said “people often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

It can sometimes be hard to find motivation because working towards a meaningful long term goal requires short term effort. Delayed gratification is not easy.

One way to increase your motivation is to try and motivate your family, friends and colleagues. Some of your positive energy will rub off on you.

A second reason to motivate others is that there is a limit to what you can achieve by yourself. In the long run, your success will be limited unless you can motivate and inspire other people to work with you and for you.

3. Get Passionate About A New Idea

Life is a wonderful journey.

Find a new idea, person or project to be passionate about, and set aside some time for your new passion each week.

There is no limit to what you can learn. However, for many people (especially if you are in the corporate world) their job requires them to carry out routine tasks which sap their energy or bore them half to death.

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” (Plutarch)

Find something new to get excited about.

Live passionately everyday

Your passion is what stays with us

There was a very cautious man,

Who never laughed or played.

He never risked, he never tried,

He never sang or prayed.

And when he one day passed away,

His insurance was denied.

For since he never really lived,

They claimed he never died.

~ Anon.

Hail to the bus driver man!

What do you want to do when you grow up?

THIS is a tribute to those people whose actions make our lives possible.

Think of an ordinary day of your typical city dwelling person.  A school student, university student, office worker or senior citizen. It is very likely that they may need to go somewhere, and that they may decide to catch a bus in order to get there.

Who will drive that bus?

If you are a member of the ambitious middle class, and there is a good chance you are (i.e. you’re not starving poor and you don’t have the time and money to do exactly as you please), then you probably toyed with the idea of driving that bus.  You may have also toyed with the idea of sliding down a fireman’s pole, building houses, delivering milk, or inventing new technology to teleport you onto the Starship Enterprise.

You were young, and you dreamed of doing things …

… and then you turned 11 and your parents suggested kindly and lovingly that you be a little more realistic. Driving a bus is a cute idea! But have you considered being an accountant, lawyer, doctor or dentist.  Respectable jobs with good pay.  You can live in a nice house like daddy and mummy.

That’s all very well.  These are all valid jobs and lawyers are people too (right?), but the important and subtle shift that went unnoticed by us as children was that our innate childish wisdom of wanting to do things was carefully replaced by our parents’ well intentioned but misguided advice to be something.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This is the wrong question to ask a child. More to the point, this is the wrong question to ask anybody. Life is not about your job title, but about your actions to improve the lives of others. Life is made possible only by doing, by providing value to others, by giving and receiving in return.

We are each on a journey of trying, failing, adapting, improving, laughing, and growing into the people that we might become.

A better question to ask might have been: What do you want to do when you grow up?  How would you like to help people by using your unique set of talents?  A wise and thoughtful child might respond: “I would like help people on their journey.”

Hail to the bus driver man!